The government wants to keep us begging for hours

Reprinted from The Daily Blog

By Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union

The government’s proposals around zero hour contracts are designed to make them legal!

The Minister responsible Michael Woodhouse should become the object of protests around the country until he rewrites the bill to meet the repeated promises he has made to end zero hours contracts.

We need to label Woodhouse and his government dishonest liars and cheats.

Woodhouse made promises to media earlier this year to end zero hours contracts. 

Read more

Bill allows zero-hour contracts in disguise

Mike Treen addresses low-paid workers at a protest in April 

Reprinted from TV3 News

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse, already under fire this week over his controversial health and safety reforms, has now been accused of lying about wanting to end zero-hour contracts.

After a successful campaign earlier this year by Unite Union to get rid of zero-hour contracts in the fast-food industry, Mr Woodhouse said they were "unfair", "unbalanced" and soon to be "unlawful".

But Unite says his new Bill, introduced last week, is "truly horrifying" and actually "makes the situation worse".

"The new law actually legalises zero-hour contracts, whereas in the past there was some legal ambiguity in their use," says national director Mike Treen.


Read more

Huge week on the Health &Safety Campaign



Council of Trade Unions Health and Safety Update and Clippings #8

Kia ora,

As you will be aware the third reading of the Health and Safety Bill is in progress and will resume on Tuesday next week. There was a vast amount of media coverage generated this week which is too much to include in this update.

The CTU assisted Pike and forestry families to come to Wellington and continue their fight for better health and safety law.

The families held a Panel Discussion in the Legislative Chamber on Tuesday night, and sat in Parliament’s Public Gallery as the Bill came back for its third reading on Wednesday. This story is told below with hyperlinks to some of the media they generated.

Bereaved families had come to Wellington and descended on Parliament. They came to urge the Government not to water down the Bill. The Bill was then delayed and the Government was “running scared” and “did not want to face the families”.

Peter Dunne could have done more.

It was certainly not a wasted trip! The families are strong, the Panel Discussion was absolutely moving.

Last Wednesday the debate quickly turned to worm farms as the Government has botched the law.

We, however, continue the moral fight to show how heartless this Government is: TVNZ Maori TV :

Here’s the CTU raw time lapse footage

Watch here on Tuesday, as the debate continues.


Talley’s: Corporate killing and maiming for profit

The Talley’s owned group companies have launched a fight to destroy the meat workers union at the 8 Affco plants they own in the North Island.
The demands the company put on the table would have cut workers pay, increased the working day, gut union protections, and eliminated seniority rights for staff.
The company’s purpose is simple – to boost production and profits at all costs – including the lives and limbs of their workforce, as well as the environment.

Read more

First case of a worker winning compo for zero hours breach

For the first time, a fast food company is compensating a worker for not being rostered their minimum guaranteed hours.


Read more

Talley’s AFFCO workers to strike - solidarity and support needed!

1000 members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union at eight AFFCO plants in the North Island have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action next week.

The decision comes after the Talley’s owned company walked away from mediation last week and applied to end bargaining under the government’s new employment laws - the first such application since the law came into effect.

Read more

Rich list: Bludging bastards with their protective layers of bought politicians

By John Minto

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

Our Inland Revenue Department has a “High Wealth Individuals Unit” (HWI Unit) which collects information on the wealth of “people who have, or are in control of wealth over $50 million”

For the 2014 year, the HWI Unit has identified over 212 people who meet this criteria and furthermore these 212 HWI’s control, or are closely associated with, 7,009 “entities” – mainly companies and tax-haven trusts – with control in some cases shared with other HWI’s.


Read more

Talley AFFCO workers on the frontline (again)

By Darien Fenton, Director of Organising, NZ Meat Workers Union


Talley's workers and their families during the 2012 lockout

It’s not really a big surprise, but disappointing all the same that it’s come to crunch time with Talleys AFFCO .
After 18 months of things going nowhere, the MWU attended Court ordered mediation this month in an effort to settle the collective agreement. The MWU team tried hard to negotiate on the issues the company had told us were important competitive issues for them, including a 480 minute day.


Read more

Benefit bashing hurts the whole working class

By Mike Treen, Unite National Director

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

Sometimes working people get misled by some of the arguments used to bash the beneficiary as bludgers and so on.

Firstly we should know that having a welfare system is vital to putting a floor under how far we can be pushed down in this society.

When unemployment went from less than 3% to 12% over a few years during the deep recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s it wasn’t because workers suddenly had a fit of laziness and abandoned our jobs. We were forced out of working by the bosses and their system – capitalism.



Read more

Paul Henry interviews Joe Carolan on Zero-hour contracts